The dream of becoming the next rap superstar is now in reach due to several technological advances that allow aspiring artists to produce music from their own home, at a far less cost than probably expected.
Nate Paulson, A Grand Rapids rap artist and current junior at Grand Valley State University, said that he produces all of his music right from his laptop. “So many people think that making music is complicated, but what most people don’t know is that I make all of my music off of GarageBand,” said Paulson. “The software is given to you free with a Mac and is simple to use, it actually produces some pretty high end sound.”
Despite making life easier in terms of production and costs, Paulson insists these advancements also make the music industry that much more competitive. “Competition is increasing just as the music industry is,” he said. “I just need to make sure I am always on the absolute top of my game, because it feels like everybody is rapping these days.”
Brandon “Jordan” Alexander, aspiring hip-hop artist and sophomore at Arizona State University, says in order to beat the competition, unknown rappers must use social networking in order to get themselves known. “Social networking is everything for someone who is up and coming and trying to get their face out there,” said Alexander. “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, that’s all I’ve got man, it’s basically my record label and without them I’m nothing.”
As advice to beginning artists, Paulson stressed the importance of preparation and knowledge. “First and foremost, you need to be educated on how to create a quality audio file,” he said. More importantly, Paulson stressed that in order to be successful in rap, you need to be true with yourself and the product that you release to the public. “When you have something to say, it better be real and true because people want what’s real and authentic,” he said. “Regardless of how good or bad your work is, as long as you’re being true, someone will give it the time of day.”
Alexander believes the best advice he ever received was to create his own unique style and niche. “Have your own story and have your own style,” said Alexander. “If you can deliver your message in a way nobody else has ever heard, it’s inevitable that you will stand out.”